Agnes’ song by Lee Chang-dong

How is it over there?
How lonely is it?
Is it still glowing red at sunset?
Are the birds still singing on the way to the forest?
Can you receive the letter I dared not send?
Can I convey…
the confession I dared not make?
Will time pass and roses fade?
Now it’s time to say goodbye
Like the wind that lingers and then goes,
just like shadows
To promises that never came,
to the love sealed till the end.

To the grass kissing my weary ankles
And to the tiny footsteps following me
It’s time to say goodbye
Now as darkness falls
Will a candle be lit again?
Here I pray…
nobody shall cry…
and for you to know…
how deeply I loved you
The long wait in the middle of a hot summer day
An old path resembling my father’s face
Even the lonesome wild flower shyly turning away
How deeply I loved
How my heart fluttered at hearing faint song
I bless you
Before crossing the black river
With my soul’s last breath
I am beginning to dream…
a bright sunny morning…
again I awake blinded by the light…
and meet you…
standing by me.

Note: This poem is originally in Korean. If you have the original version, please leave a comment. Also, I’m not sure if Lee Chang-dong wrote the poem, if you can confirm, please let me know.

5 thoughts on “Agnes’ song by Lee Chang-dong

  1. Yes I do have original poem in Korean.
    And yes Lee Chang Dong wrote this poem. Like any other poems, translated English version is bit dull.
    Please contact me if you need the original one.
    Thanks.

    • Thanks so much Esther! Yes, I would love to add the original in Korean to this entry on my blog (even though I won’t be able to read it!).

      I read Hindi (an indian language) and French, and my experience has been that some poems sound just as poetic translated in English, and some don’t. Depends much
      on the skill of the translator and their grasp of both languages. I understand Urdu (can’t read it in the original script though), and its’ translations into English just don’t sound right. Urdu is a very romantic language with subtle nuances that just can’t be captured in English.

      If you can translate this poem from Korean to English yourself so it doesn’t sound so dull, I would love to read that too.🙂

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